Donnerstag, 19. März 2009

Rolando's latest interview

Here's the translation of Rolando's latest interview with the german newspaper "Hamburger Abendblatt", I think it's really, really worth reading it ! =)

Interview: A life at the fast lane

"I am more than just an opera singer"

Music is also theraphy for Rolando Villazón. With the Abendblatt talks the star tenor about conquered loss of form, the go for the literature and about own tears at the opera.

Rolando Villazón worked and lived for years on the fast lane. He was celebrated internationaly, made open air concerts, sang at big opera houses and at festivals. He exercised on an electrical bull at Thomas Gottschalk's "Wetten, dass..?", he shot a "La Bohème" film adaptation with his best-known stage partner Anna Netrebko. But in summer 2007 was the star tenor radically thwart by his voice and his psyche. A six months lasting voice crisis forced him, thinking basically about himself and his career. He came back last summer to the Salzburger Festspiele; a few weeks ago at the New York's Met was he so indisposed, that he had to interrupt. Now a new album is released, which he had recorded last spring: Suitable for the jubilee year sings Villazón Händel arias. Baroque repertoire which normally don't suit to his voice. But therefor perfect to his changed attitude. This CD was the reason for a very honest dialogue in Paris. The topic ? By far not only music.

Abendblatt:
Baroque of Händel - and you as a lyrical tenor, who got known with much later repertoire ? Surprising.
Villazón:
I also already sang Monteverdi's "Combattimento". And after that it was quite plain to me: I love singing such music. I am a singer - not only an opera singer who sings exclusively very certain roles. No, I am more than this. I am musician, I have a voice, and I want to serve this music. This is no extravagant project, which I have done only for fun.

Abendblatt:
For your version of the early baroque Monteverdi created a reviewer the not too kind assessment "Montepuccini".
Villazón:
(laughs) Really ? This can be. There seemed to be also a few good ones. But much more important for me than the critics - cause I don't read most of the critics - are the opinions of colleagues as for example the musicians of the Gabrieli Consorts. It is totally simple: My heart beat, if I listen to this music, and than I can sing this, too. Am I able to do all ? No, I am not able to do anything. I can much less, than someones think.

Abendblatt:
Was this work on the arias recording- or more therapy session ?
Villazón:
We planned the album already before my time-out. But if you want: Yes, music is also a kind of therapy, not only for me.

Abendblatt:
How difficult was it, after the time-out not to think at every little form dent immediately about the problems, which forced you to pause ?
Villazón:
The last year was a transition period, but which was going on very well for me. The force is of course always high, now perhaps higher, but he is coming meanly of the journalists, not of the opera houses. As soon as you have a cold anytime - catastrophe ! At the next performance you are again thinking about this and want to prove, that there is nothing on it. But this is the false drive, it shouldn't be like this.

Abendblatt:
Is it cause of this now easier, to say no ? Or more difficult, to say yes ?
Villazón:
For ten years I always said yes, to everything, I sang nearly every day. And I would do it again, this is in my blood. But it was all too much. Now there are also yes' for beeing at home and thinking.

Abendblatt:
You said you are no victim, but a part of the system. So then the problem is also a part of you.
Villazón:
Nobody force me to do anything. I am the one, who says yes. The management give my offers and I say yes or no. In the end it's always my decision.

Abendblatt:
If you would be more consequent, you will not have to perform at Salzburg, Vienna, New York in the next years, but at smaller houses, with less force. At a Salzburg performance are 7-digit amounts attached. If you cancel there, gets the Festspielchef colics.
Villazón:
But it is great fun for me to sing where I sing. And to be honest the force is everywhere the same, doesn't matter where you perform.

Abendblatt:
Well...The first act of your Salzburg comeback with "Roméo et Juliette" last year, this was not fun. This was already real fight.
Villazón:
Maybe you thaught that.

Abendblatt :
You said singing accord the soul importance. So what non-singing make of you ?
Villazón:
I can not live without singing. But there is singing for somebody - and singing as career. Anyway I will sing my whole life long.

Abendblatt:
You are living with your family here, in Paris, the only city, where you can be undisturbed and in public melancholy.
Villazón:
Right. You can everything, and it is no problem. This could perhaps also be a reason, why I live here. Here you can be as you are. You don't need a mask.

Abendblatt:
Do you savour the soleness or do you need it ?
Villazón:
Both. Meanwhile I know to appreciate the solness.

Abendblatt:
Now it's more fun ?
Villazón:
Now I can be more calm. And fortunately there was always literature.

Abendblatt:
You reach a quota of 30-40 books per year. Astonishing for a tenor.
Villazón:
You know: My colleagues are very intelligent. For being on the stage you have to be intelligent. I even love books. Others are maybe applicatory assessed and can repair in the house, but I'm easly not able to do this. Books are taking me there, where I want to be.

Abendblatt:
Did you personally try writting or is the only imaginable aritistic expression for you ?
Villazón:
3 weeks ago my wife and I looked through a box with letters out of our teenager time, and in every single for her stands: "You know, that I will be a writer, that this is my life." But I didn't have this ability. I have my voice. Factual this career happened more like an accident to for me. At the beginning was a hobby - and sudden was I a professional.

Abendblatt:
You got ahead totally without any ambition ?
Villazón:
At the beginning yes. I wanted to make, like Don Quichotte, a name for myself.

Abendblatt:
What happened with the former text attempts - do they still exist anywhere ?
Villazón:
Yes, many. I wrote many plays and sonnets. And now I sometimes take a tickler and write it completely full, like Jack Kerouac in "On the road", but unfortunately not with Kerouac's ability. What comes, is very crazy, sometimes it's absurd. But I don't stop till I am on the last side.

Abendblatt:
What made art of people ?
Villazón:
Totally simply viewed, she would be amusement. A getaway out of the office jobs. A place, where you can open the sences. But this happens also, if you sit in the gloaming in the parc. So art have to cause something different. In the end the point is to watch the life with other eyes. The both art forms which are the closest to me are music and literature - music is very subjective in the experience, the listener have to experience and handle the listened on his own. Literature is furthermore a very activ art form: Every reader traverse an own process of visualisation at the reading - landscapes, characters and happenings, all this do we have to make unliteral. Cause of this my "Steppenwolf" is not necessarily very similar with yours.

Abendblatt:
Did you already cry at concerts or opera performances ?
Villazón:
Yes. At opera already very often. I am touched, when I see, that all together - on and off stage - make the acts coming alive. This fire, this passion, this is humanity for me.

Abendblatt:
Is it good or bad for a singer, to be frightend of the failure ?
Villazón:
Being nervous is very good. You are awake and keen in a positive way. Anxiety isn't so good, cause anxiety can be very debiliating. But the force was new for me.

Abendblatt:
Do you thank you your voice, for denying the service so drastic at that time ?
Villazón:
It was not voice. It was everything, the whole body. Lifting the arms on stage, that was alread difficult.

Abendblatt:
You call since years your psychotherapist in Mexico. Isn't it possible, that the artist in you will suffer, if the therapy should be finished anytime ?
Villazón:
What will have happened with Van Gogh, if you have had a psychotherapist ? I think, he would have been a happier man. But still a great artist.


For more interviews rather reports (about Vienna, Händel etc) click here, here and here =)

Kommentare:

teresa hat gesagt…

merci beaucoup, ces jours tu ne fais autre chose que traduire Rolando!

Cardiff Traviata hat gesagt…

Thanks for this great translation! :))

ChristinaLuise hat gesagt…

Merci !
Et oui, c'est vrai Teresa ! ; )